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Learn the rules for glass – they’re right here and quite clear.

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Glass containers like jars and bottles can be recycled into new glass products over and over again. But not all local recycling programs accept glass items, so check with your local recycler.

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Rinse and Empty Glass

Give your glass containers a quick rinse to remove food or other contaminants from the glass before recycling. Removing food and other contaminants keeps other recyclables like paper or cardboard cleaner and in better quality for recycling.

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Clear Food Glass

Clear glass containers holding food are usually accepted at all recyclers that accept glass recycling.

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Colored Food Glass

Most recycling programs that accept glass will accept green, brown, blue and other colored glass used in food or drink packaging. Non-food glass like lamp shades or vases are not typically recyclable. Check with your local recycling provider.

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Lids on Glass

Metal lids on glass jars and containers should be removed from the container. Once an item reaches a materials recovery facility to be sorted, metal and glass are separated from each other. The lid may be recyclable on its own. Check with your local program.

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Glass Used For Cooking Purposes

Cooking glass like Pyrex and similar is not recyclable. The process to allow it to be used for cooking in the oven prevents it from being reused. Look for opportunities to donate or gift cooking glass if it’s in good condition or simply throw it away.

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Don’t place any type of lightbulb in a curbside recycling bin or cart. All lightbulbs contain a mix of glass and metal that make them harder to recycle.

Some drop-off recycling collection centers collect various types of lightbulbs. It’s OK to place incandescent and LED lights in the trash if they’re spent. CFL lights – often the twisty bulb ones – contain a small amount of mercury and should be dropped off for proper handling to prevent mercury from getting into the land and water. Many recycling drop-off centers, local governments and retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s will have CFL collection spots.

String lights like Christmas lights are not recyclable curbside – they’re tanglers that get caught in the sorting machinery. Retailers and some drop-off recycling locations will collect them, often in December and January.

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Life isn’t always about recycling. It’s about life – hanging out with your raccoon friends, napping in attic spaces, rummaging through dumpsters, engaging in nocturnal capers and, of course, obsessing about recycling. But no matter how you live your life, you need cool music to go with it.

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